If your DPF warning light or Anti-Pollution warning is on, please do not ignore it (typical dash warning symbols below). Get professional advice, consider your options carefully and attend to the problem. Leaving it will ultimately cost you much more in additional repair bills and it can be dangerous.
By the time your DPF warning lights are visible, your DPF will already be significantly blocked. Forced regeneration by a garage or a “blast down the motorway” is not likely to cure the problem, these only work as preventative maintenance.
DPF Regeneration – Quantum dealers can offer a regeneration service
DPF Replacement – Quantum dealers can replace the DPF, normally at a fraction of the main dealer cost.
DPF Cleaning – Many Quantum dealers offer a DPF cleaning service
DPF Recalibration – If you have had your DPF core removed, your Quantum dealer may be able to re-calibrate your vehicles ECU to stop your engine going into limp-home mode and clear the DPF warning light. Consumers must be aware of the legal implications (as above) of this being carried out.
DPF removal is legal in certain countries and when used for off-road or motor-sport – if in any doubt please take advice.
Why Clean Your DPF?
If regeneration doesn’t function properly it leads to a build-up of soot affecting performance and fuel economy, left unattended this will result in a Blocked DPF which can ultimately cause very expensive damage to other engine components. A blocked DPF is also potentially dangerous as it can cause overheating in the exhaust system and cause a fire risk. To prevent this damage most new vehicles will go into “Limp Home” safety mode at this stage, meaning the vehicle will have minimum power barely sufficient to crawl home.
For regeneration to take place it requires the vehicle to be driven regularly at some speed on open roads e.g. motorway driving, typically driving at around 2500 RPM for approx. 15-30mins at least once a month, this will keep things working.
Many diesel vehicles are used primarily in urban areas or on short stop start journeys e.g. local deliveries, taxi’s, school runs etc and many have auto gearbox, so the vehicle does not get the chance to heat up sufficiently and is unable to carry out a full regeneration process.
Even if the regeneration functions as it should, over time the Ash Residue will build up in the DPF and have the same affect ultimately resulting in a blocked DPF. For this reason a DPF is classified as a Serviceable Item by the vehicle manufacturers like brake pads or air filters etc and not covered under warranty. DPF systems therefore need to be maintained properly.
From February 2014 the inspection of the exhaust system carried out during the MOT test will include a check for the presence of a DPF.
A missing DPF, where one was fitted when the vehicle was built, will result in an MOT failure. A vehicle might still pass the MOT visible smoke emissions test, which is primarily intended to identify vehicles that are in a very poor state of repair, whilst emitting illegal and harmful levels of fine exhaust particulate. It is an offence under the Road vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations (Regulation 61a(3))1 to use a vehicle which has been modified in such a way that it no longer complies with the air pollutant emissions standards it was designed to meet.
Removal of a DPF will almost invariably contravene these requirements, making the vehicle illegal for road use. The potential penalties for failing to comply are fines of up to £1,000 for a car or £2,500 for a light goods vehicle.